Beijing asked to make unreasonable concessions, says WTO negotiator Western nations are playing politics in their talks with Beijing on two crucial World Trade Organisation issues, according to a senior mainland WTO negotiator. Li Enheng , the mainland's deputy representative to the WTO, said they were trying to pressure Beijing into unreasonable concessions on issues related to the Doha round of global trade talks and China's market status. The Doha round is designed to promote the economic development of poorer countries. The mainland, as the world's largest developing economy, has played a leading role in the negotiations, with many developing countries looking to it for leadership. But Mr Li said the United States and European nations were trying to pressure Beijing into making more concessions than a developing nation should make. 'The most crucial issue is agriculture, as most developing economies are heavily reliant on the sector,' he said yesterday on the sidelines of the International Investment Promotion Forum in Tianjin, sponsored by the UN Trade and Development Conference and the Ministry of Commerce. Mr Li said the Doha round should focus on measures by western nations to reduce or abolish subsidies to agriculture in order to help developing countries. The mainland, as a developing country with a per capita income of just over US$1,000, should receive the same treatment as other developing countries, he said. 'What the western nations want is that China be treated as a developed economy, or an advanced developing economy, which is more about politics than about facts.' But he admitted there were conflicts of interest between China and the rest of the developing world. Playing on other developing countries' fears that most of the benefits of the Doha talks might go to China, western negotiators were trying to pressure the mainland into making further concessions. Mr Li said the mainland still lagged far behind the developed world in terms of agriculture, although it had made remarkable advances in its manufacturing industry over the past two decades. He said the US and the European Union were also playing politics in their refusal to grant the mainland market economy status. Mr Li said the mainland met more of the requirements of a free-market economy than Russia and other former eastern bloc nations that had been granted such status. 'Just look at Ukraine,' Mr Li said. 'When a pro-western government came to power, the western world came to an overnight consensus that the former Soviet republic had met the requirements of a free-market economy.' He said the west was using the mainland's lack of market economy status against its manufacturing and exporting companies in anti-dumping investigations. 'Without market economy status, any claim of dumping could easily be regarded as the result of government intervention or subsidies, without thorough hearings and investigations,' he said. Mr Li said the mainland would try its hardest to make the Doha round talks a success while taking into account the interests of most developing nations. Ministerial-level Doha round talks will be held in Hong Kong later this year.